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Bereavement leave can now be used in the event of a miscarriage or stillbirth

Tue June 1st 2021

As from 1 April 2021 an employee can take up to three days’ paid bereavement leave if they or their partner experiences a miscarriage or stillbirth. People planning to have a child through surrogacy or adoption are also eligible, if the pregnancy ends by miscarriage or stillbirth.

Bereavement leave gives an employee time to grieve and to take care of matters to do with the bereavement. This can be taken at any time and for any purpose relating to the death, miscarriage or stillbirth. This does not have to be taken immediately or on consecutive days.

Employees are not required to produce proof of pregnancy, miscarriage or stillbirth.

The law change does not provide bereavement leave for terminations. Depending on the circumstances, mothers may be eligible to use sick leave following a termination.

The existing rules for bereavement leave continue to apply. Employees become eligible for bereavement leave after six months.


Thru a referral Thelma has been my “go to” specialist over a range of HR projects including employment agreements, developing a staff handbook and restructuring my business. I have always found Thelma to be pragmatic in developing effective solutions that has suited both the needs of the business and those of our employees.
Director, SME, Auckland
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